What’s Bush up to on Iraq? BY ROBERT NOVAK SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

Sen. Pat Roberts is a Marine veteran, a knowledgeable member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a loyal conservative Republican. Accordingly, it is hard for him to take issue with what Bush said last week. But as a blunt-spoken Kansan and a patriotic American, Roberts feels constrained to express concern.

”Why are we rattling the cage so much?” asked Roberts, posing a question that might be asked at the Dodge City ”coffee klatch” in his hometown. He was stunned by President Bush’s remarkable Wednesday news conference, which included threats of imminent attack against Iraq and did not rule out using tactical nuclear weapons. As a senior GOP member of the Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee, Roberts knows of no change in Saddam Hussein’s military posture to warrant the president’s stance. ”I have a lot of questions,” he told me.

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